March 2018 Newsletter

A Little Help Goes A Long Way

Blanca and her husband were looking forward to their retirement years after having raised their two daughters, who were both now in their twenties, when they made the decision to become guardians for their two young nephews.

The youngest, Carlos, was only two months old at the time and had been in foster care since birth. Blanca was told that Carlos had severe developmental delays and impaired vision.

Starting over with two young children, particularly an infant, was scary and overwhelming for Blanca and her husband - especially considering that they were already caring for her elderly parents who also lived with them. Blanca knew she needed help and was referred to Chicano Federation’s Early Head Start program by a friend. She reached out and joined the program when Carlos was four months old.

At the time, Carlos was under weight and not thriving and because it had been so long since she had cared for an infant, everything felt new to Blanca – she had questions about what to feed Carlos, his developmental milestones, and where to go for resources and additional help. Blanca’s Home Visitor from the Chicano Federation began helping her immediately. She answered all of Blanca’s questions and connected her with people and resources to help Blanca get the support her and Carlos needed.

Throughout the program, Blanca and Carlos met with their Home Visitor once a week where Blanca learned all about infant nutrition, what milestones Carlos should be reaching and how to help Carlos learn and develop. Blanca credits her Home Visitor for going above and beyond and says the help she received was truly invaluable.

After a year in Chicano Federation’s Early Head Start Program, Carlos is thriving. “His progress has been amazing! He wouldn’t be where he is today had it not been for the help of Chicano Federation and this program. You guys helped me so much,” says Blanca.

Not only is Carlos hitting all of his developmental milestones, he no longer shows signs of impairments or developmental delays. He is a happy, healthy, sweet little boy with an infectious laugh and smile that lights up a room. Blanca and her husband are also in the final stages of officially adopting Carlos. and the family could not be more excited! Blanca believes that Carlos’ progress in the program helped to make the adoption a reality, and she is so grateful to have found Chicano Federation and the Early Head Start program.

Save The Date For The Annual Unity Luncheon

Chicano Federation Leadership

We are pleased to announce our board officers for 2018! Mario Sierra, Environmental Services Director at the City of San Diego, will serve as chair of the board. Jose Cano, Department of Health Services (retired) will serve as first vice chair. Delia Talamantez, UCSD (retired), was named secretary of the board. Maritza Mekitarian, Manager of Financial Accounting at Sempra Energy Utilities, will serve as treasurer.

Staff Profile

Anabel Vega joined Chicano Federation approximately eight months ago as a volunteer through the SER Jobs for Progress Program. After three months of volunteering, Anabel was offered full-time employment as a recruiter in the Infant and Toddler Program.

Through the Infant and Toddler Program, the Chicano Federation contracts with licensed Family Child Care Homes to provide affordable, quality childcare for infants and toddlers. The goal of this program is to assist parents secure quality childcare, and ultimately help parents and families become more self-sufficient.

Anabel is the first point of contact for families in search of childcare, and she is responsible for the initial screening and for helping families to understand the requirements and qualifications of the program. Anabel’s favorite part of her job is that she gets to help families in need. “Sometimes you can hear the urgency in people’s voice when they call, and it makes me feel good when I can help them.”

Ana Sanchez, another staff member who works closely with Anabel, shared that what has impressed her most about Anabel is her ability to really connect with and relate to families. “She really cares about our families,” states Ana.

Anabel is a valuable member of the Infant and Toddler Program and an asset to the Chicano Federation. Thank you Anabel!

Community Support Makes All The Difference

Chicano Federation Board Chair, Mario Sierra, and President/CEO, Raymond Uzeta, attended Sycuan’s annual gift giving ceremony in December to accept a generous donation from the Sycuan Tribal Council.

“We are deeply grateful to Sycuan for their support of our programs,” said Raymond Uzeta, President/CEO. “Sycuan plays an active role in the community, and we are thankful for their generosity and friendship.”

A special thank you to the Honorable Chairman Martinez ((we should include his first name)), Sycuan Tribal Council and all of the Sycuan leadership team for their support.

One of the Greatest Gifts You Can Give Is Your Time

Thank you to U.S. Bank for their generous support of our Housing Program, and an extra special thank you to the team of U.S. Bank employees that helped celebrate this past holiday season with children at our Barrio Logan Child Development Center. Volunteers helped children make holiday gifts for their parents, paint pictures, and make beautiful holiday cards. Thank you U.S. Bank for spending the day with us and for your support of Chicano Federation programs!

A Day Of Service

On January 15, 2018, we honored the voice and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the help of an amazing group of volunteers from CDC Small Business Finance. Led by Federation board member, Robert Villarreal, the group celebrated Dr. King’s timeless values by volunteering as a company to sand and paint fences at our affordable housing complex in City Heights.

"It was great to get outside of the office and experience firsthand what it means to serve the community as a company," said Lauren Layman, an employee at CDC Small Business Finance. "Everyone was really happy to be there and to support the awesome work of the Chicano Federation."

Silver Seal Of Transparency

Chicano Federation was recently recognized for our transparency with a Silver Seal on our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile! GuideStar is the world’s largest source of information on nonprofit organizations. More than 8 million visitors per year and a network of 200+ partners use GuideStar data to grow support for nonprofits. In order to get the Silver Seal, Chicano Federation shared important information with the public using our profile on Now our community members and potential donors can find in-depth financial information about our organization.

Stay Connected

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Twitter: chicanofed

Amanda Rogers